Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Battle of Cnidus

It was a military operation conducted in 394 BC by the Achaemenid Empire against the Spartan naval fleet during the Corinthian War. A fleet under the joint command of Pharnabazus and former Athenian admiral, Conon, destroyed the Spartan fleet led by the inexperienced Peisander, ending Sparta's brief bid for naval supremacy.

The Spartan fleet was based at Cnidus, at the western tip of the Carian Chersonese. Conon and Pharnabazus had their fleet at Loryma, at the southern tip of the Rhodian Chersonese, further east along the coast of Asia Minor, so the two fleets were facing each other across the gulf between the two peninsulas.

The fighting began with a clash between Conon's squadron of the Persian fleet and Peisander's fleet. The battle turned when the Phoenician fleet under Pharnabazus entered the fighting. Sparta's allies, on the left of the fleet, fled to land, leaving the Spartans to fight on alone. The fleet of Sparta and her allies under Peisander later was destroyed by the fleet under Conon and Pharnabazos.

In the battle of Cnidus, the Spartan fleet was decisively defeated; Peisander's first battle with the fleet would be his last. Various sources attest that this was such a crushing blow that the days of Sparta's naval power were over that followed the end of the Great Peloponnesian War. At the end of the war Athens had been eliminated as a naval power.

After the battle, Conon and his Persian patron Pharnabazus put to sea again to induce the subject cities to secede. The Spartan garrisons were expelled; Conon and Pharnabazus were welcomed as saviors and liberators everywhere they landed.12 Upon his return to Athens, Conon received the extraordinary honor of a statue in the agora.
Battle of Cnidus

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